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Vermont Institutions Seek Energy Savings

Two Vermont schools are pushing forward on commitments to reduce campus energy consumption. Norwich University recently began an energy audit that promises to decrease usage by about 5 percent per year, and Bennington College is the newest signatory of the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment.

Norwich U, which recently joined the state's Energy Leadership Challenge, teamed up with SourceOne, a Boston energy management and consulting services firm, to perform a multi-month energy audit. The 3,500-student institution is pursuing a two-year goal of reducing energy usage by 7.5 percent.

Bennington President Elizabeth Coleman signed on for the Climate Commitment in mid-October, promising to put in measures to help the school reach carbon neutrality by 2030. As part of that pledge, the school also commits to reducing its carbon emissions by 15 percent by 2015. This isn't the first step the college has made in the area of energy conservation. For example, over the last six years Bennington has reduced the amount of oil it burns each year for campus operations from 400,000 gallons to 10,000 gallons by implementing a biomass facility. The 832-student college has a 23-member sustainability committee--with faculty, students, and staff--that drives new projects on campus.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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